Time- Out from Lifting

I know I just started writing about my lifting journey and now I’m writing a post on taking a Time-Out. Well if you read my last post you would understand. It’s vacation time. This means me doing the bare minimum of what is required, enjoying my kids and wife and relaxing. So far we are on day two.

We spent yesterday touring the U.S.S. Alabama, located in Mobile, Alabama. We were able to tour the entire battleship and submarine, not to mention all the airplanes. It was hot and a lot of walking, but it was really cool. I highly recommend it if you are in the area. We spent the night in Mobile and woke up and went to Alligator Alley in Foley, AL. Now this was also a good trip, especially with young kids. It was too expensive and you got to hold baby alligators and snakes. That snake can kiss my ass…I’m not touching that thing. Then it was on to our beach front condo. It’s a beautiful condo over looking clear gulf waters. So from me to you…Bench heavy and enjoy your time off.

Advertisements

Stronger In A Week

Four straight days with no days off of pure heavy lifting. I had to squeeze a week worth of lifting into four days because of my upcoming beach vacation. I’m sure Westside Barbell does not recommend four days straight, but it had to be done. We started with Heavy Legs using EliteFTS orange bands to add some resistance and a home-made box to make things that much more horrible. Louie Simmons recommended doing more sets with less reps (8 sets of 3reps). I was  not expecting this to be as rough as it actually was. I was able to get 265 and finished all my sets and reps, but I was dripping wet and damn near spent. Coach said it should take one hour no more, which was highly stressed. I didn’t believe him.

img_0379
EliteFTS Orange Bands and homemade box 

It was then on to superseding straight legged deadlifts and walking weighted lunges. I was able to complete the supersets, but my body did not want to cooperate. Everything from the waste down was now hurting, in a good way. And that was day one. It took 45 minutes of pure hell and I squatted 2120lbs, not including the orange bands.

I woke up the next morning at my usual time, 0415, and stumbled to the bathroom. I hurt in areas that I haven’t in a good while. Now I will be honest, I started lifting like every DBag out there and didn’t touch legs. I grew up and came to my senses and started hitting working on them past year or two (minus the times I was running like an idiot). So my legs are not as strong as I’d like, but they will be. With that being said I was excited for doing a heavy upper day. It was similar to lower except we didn’t use bands. It was old school bench press with a 8 set/3 rep count. It was hard and scary. We loaded the bar with 275 and I am still shocked we made it through. There was no assistance from the coach, I pushed every bit of the iron up on my own. After the main workout we hit the secondary and did two superset workouts. The first being close grip incline press and wide grip pull downs. Incline has always been my “go-to” lift. It has been my strongest and this day was no exception. The second superset was cable face-pulls and barbell rows. I was able to complete them all and walked out of that gym not being able to lift a damn thing, including my arms.

The last two days we ventured into Westside’s dynamic workout. Everything was the same as above, except there wasn’t as much weight. Instead we were aiming for explosive lifts. We used EliteFTS red and orange bands for squats and bench and small green bands for deadlifts. Without going into complete detail of every lift, the bands added a touch of

IMG_9245.jpg
Coach in the white tank. Me on the bench.

humility to the lift. They make you aware of the fact that you HAVE to respect the weight and the form required to lift it. If you jacked around and tried to do a “bounce off the chest,” the bands would snap your arms/body back inline and could hurt you if not prepared. The last two days consist of sore muscles being shocked again by explosive pushes and pulls. It’s like we broke down our muscles and as soon as they started to heal we broke them down again.

 

My goal is to push the limits each week and increase my lifts by 10lbs per week. I feel this is a reasonable goal, for at least a few weeks. At the end of a fun strenuous week, I will enjoy my week at the beach. Happy lifting.

 

 

In the Beginning

This is my first time attempting a blog. I have thought about starting a fitness/personal journal for some time…so be nice.

IMG_0165I started experimenting with lifting weights around 2004 right after I applied at the police academy. I grew up as an average skinny kid from the suburbs. Not the most athletic, but not the least. The only thing I knew about lifting was what I learned in the family garage with the old concrete filled plastic covered weights. I graduated from the Memphis Police Regional Academy in 2005 and spent the better part of my career working midnights. My first son was born in 2008 and it was time to swap to Day Shift and be “normal.” My co-worker and I decided to start going to the City Athletic Club. He knew more than I but it was pretty much the basic 3 sets of 8 and lots of weight. My first day was an embarrassment. I could barely lift 135, and I doubt I actually lifted it solo. In a nut shell and not to go through too much history, I was a weak little bitch that inspired to be the “Big guy.” I wanted the tight sleeved police uniform and to be intimidating. So throughout the past 8 years I have been in and out of the weight room and had major gains and set backs. Started the PD at 170ish soaking wet and today I weigh 205 lb.
In the summer of 2013 I was training for a 1/2 marathon and staying in shape for FBI PFT qualifications. I was going to be a FED and the half was on my bucket list. Melissa and I trained together and ran the Greenline Half in October 2015. There was no weight training, only push-ups and sit-ups. I was what you would call “Skinny-Fat.” I had some muscle from past training but nothing worth looking at in a bathing suit. It wasn’t until after the half that I started back training with my co-worker, who we will now call COACH.IMG_8023 (1).jpg

Well Coach encouraged me to get back into lifting and incorporate  sprints into my fitness regime, oppose to distance running. He said this would better my chances at passing the PFT. I started this in November and did light weight. I was nervous that heavy weight would bulk me up and possibly injure me. I was listening to too many runners. Getting back in the weights made me “meathead ready” all over again. I loved it. We lifted in a small Police weight room with weight older than me. Long story short the PFT never happened unfortunately. With the PFT out of the picture I focused on getting strong and big. I kept daily logs ,and our little group seemed like a secret society. We only talked about how much we lifted and how much we can lift the next week. After the first of the year we focused our attention onto nutrition. This was completely strange to me. It was tough for me and I cheated way too much. But there were several times were I was strict. Coach and another female Officer in our group decided to sign up for their first bodybuilding competition. Their determination made me focus in on my diet even more. To be honest, I was completely jealous of them and regret not signing up for it. When Coach signed up I was about 3% of Body Fat behind him and I didn’t think I had the time to drop down to competition weight…I was wrong. I dropped to about 196 and had two upper abs. They did well in their first competition and brought home three trophies. Even though i didn’t compete, it felt like I had a hand in there awards.

It’s now the first of June, 2016 and the competition is about a month behind us. Coach now wants to go from body building to power lifting with a touch of body building. Meaning we lift heavy as shit and eat somewhat clean, this makes me happy. Yesterday was day one. Eight sets of 2 rep squats at 90% my max. I could barely walk today. Today was Day 2 and it was heavy upper body. We did 275 lbs eight times for three reps each. It felt awesome to be able to lift that much weight with no help. It feels good to be the strong guy again. And it feels even better to have your wife send you a before (2008) and after (2016) picture on the day you start back doing powerlifting. Coach makes a hell of a plan, but a lot of the credit comes from him studying Westside Barbell (Louie Simmons). This is the start of my journey to be the bigger and stronger than  I’ve ever been.img_0361CJAL4327